So much fallout since my post yesterday to stop running, I had to sit and re-analyze everything all over again… I had so many people being SO understanding… telling me how they felt the same, how it had been a while since they enjoyed it, but they keep at it, or they keep hoping, or how they were scared to even saying out loud.
We need to start sharing more about what we’re scared of. It turns out that every time I post something that I think people will hate, all I hear is “I was scared to say that out loud”. This post here “I choose not to be a better runner” is one of the posts that took the most effort for me to publish. I wrote it and sat on it for weeks, scared that people would stone me. And it created SUCH a positive response (some comments are here), for the most part, that I learned something huge. Most of the things I am afraid to say, need to be said. We all look around sometimes and we think so much before we speak, afraid of how we’re going to be perceived. I’ve learned that the things that scare me the most, always need to be shared: there is someone who is feeling it too. And together we grow, we hold each other’s hand, we learn. And hopefully we can all accept each other.
Yesterday, I had something to say.
- Most of you were very understanding and told me you’d love me anyway whatever I chose to do.
- One person said it was bound to happen.
- Some people were in shock and were trying to understand.
- A LOT send me private messages saying they were going through the exact same thing, and how happy they were to read that they were not alone.
- And another group, tried to “help”, to motivate me to try again, to convince me I hadn’t tried hard enough.
So… with so much hubbub, I had to rethink all my reasons, which I had already pondered for the last 6 months already… I really wanted to put it out there so people knew my head was somewhere else, officially, not to re-analyze and overanalyze and explain everything. But a post is a live thing that you can’t control… so I really had to re-rethink it all.
– Run with no pressure, you’ll love it again – I’ve never had any sort of pressure… never. I just run for fun, and the fun seem to be gone.
– Just keep showing up and you’ll love it again. Hasn’t worked for the last 8 months, and that always used to work before, that’s the only reason why I’ve been running the last months.
– It’s post-marathon blues! Just wait a bit. I’ve been waiting for 8 months! And I can barely call Boston a marathon… I didn’t even have a goal or trained for it.
– You just need a goal. Yeah, any ideas?? I have NO clue what that would be…! I am happy with all I’ve achieved so far.
– You’re burnt from training and racing! I haven’t trained in almost 2 years, I haven’t raced (properly, with training, in over 18 months…)
– You just need new people to run with, since your training partner moved. Well, anytime before that, when I lost a TP, I replaced them right away, this time I didn’t try, and that was over a year ago!
– The winter had you locked in. Once it gets nice you’ll be ok again. It’s nice out already… I’ve trained through tough winters before…
– The ulcer made you stop, the falling made you scared. You’re ok now. No, mentally, I am not interested.
When someone likes me gets to the point where they rather eat-less or diet than run, you know it’s a problem. Now I just have to figure out the rest of my life: it ALL revolves around running… little by little. Sleep patterns change, eating habits change, need to find other hobbies??? I have no idea how to live like a non-runner…
But I have to stop forcing myself to do this. As much as I want it to work out, it is not.
(Deep down, I am REALLY hoping that giving up on it makes me miss it instantly, I am SO hoping that is the case. Nothing yet. Stay tuned)
Things change, people change – I say it’s no big deal.
I concur with pscapp.
I totally understand. It’s your life and no one knows you better than yourself. And… It’s not necessarily a permanent decision. Just because you quit now, doesn’t mean you can’t come back to it at some point. BUT hopefully we still see you around!
thanks Shas, i am sure you’ll still see me around!
You’ll be fine. The only problem I can gather from this proclamation is that you were at one extreme (your life revolved around running) and now you’re at the opposite extreme. In this case I preach some moderation. You’ll never be able to give up running completely, as it’s an extension of walking, which is one of the most natural things we do as humans (in addition to eating, sleeping, etc.).
I went through a similar thing in 2003 after having done 3 NYC Marathons (all of which were painful). I stopped racing for 4 years, during which time I played on basketball and volleyball teams. I did find that I missed racing, so I got back into it. I also never really gave up the other sports I enjoy, and managed to fit racing with being on volleyball, bowling, and flag football teams. I also never really gave up happy hours and other social events. So I ran again, and despite never reaching my full running potential, I’m quite happy with the arrangement. Running has taken me to all sorts of new places, introduced me to great new people, and given me some structure and better health.
My running status in the past 5 years: 55+ marathons, 5+ ultramarathons, 1 triathlon, and 100s of small races. Many in obscure places around the world. I have a strong feeling I will love running for the rest of my life, and you should too.
Thanks Rick… the only person that assumed this would happen actually said something similar to what you mention, I don’t know how to do grey, I only do black or white. I really hope it comes back, like it did for you!!
I did the same things years ago. After running high school XC, where running was my life, and all my friends were on the XC team, I went off to college. I joined the XC team there, and it was awful. They were all about your times and where you placed, and everything felt forced. After one season with them I realized running was feeling like a chore for me. I stopped running altogether for a year and just became a normal person (!!)
It took me that full year to realize running was very personal and very different for everyone. Some use it as a time to think through problems, others just shut down and go forward, while others use it for punishment. I got back into running slowly and made it my own. Then injuries started to plague me and I stopped again for five years. When I tried to get back into it, I got frustrated that I was not as fast as I once was. So I stopped. Just last year I started getting back into it, realizing how much i missed that Me Time while running. And while I will never be as fast as I once was, I am ok with that. I am ok with being one of the few lucky people who CAN run and who CAN enjoy running.
And you can not be running and still be a runner! It’s like a secret club, once you have become a member, you are a member for life-no matter if you miss the meetings.
Can I be a runner that doesn’t run?? I don’t feel like a runner mentally, at all… I am not sad or upset, because I feel like I am giving up that I don’t want at all anymore, so it’s more of a relief, which is super strange after 10 years of my life revolving around it. Perplexing, that’s all.// thanks!!!
I totally respect and support your decision. It’s too hard to do if you hate it or worse, aren’t into it – if the usual rewards have vanished. In the hopes that your interest is burried in there somewhere, Ragnar for fun? Spend 24 hours running a 200 mile relay with your running or non-running buds, mostly cheering your other team members on – like a running party! Cape Cod, Adirondacks, Napa??? Or pick out some hikes of a lifetime, and climb some mountains, stop and smell the flowers.
no, nothing that requires movement sounds interesting… I seem to be in a “nesting” phase, hahahaha! we’ll have to wait and see.. thanks!!!!
Ever run a Ragnar? Perhaps that could be a goal to look toward. I just signed up for my first one, which’ll be from Cumberland, MD to Washington, DC in September, a total of 199 miles. The runner legs I’m signed up for are pretty hilly, and a mix of trail and road. I know you’ve got that falling issue, so the legs that are run in complete dark of night may be a bit intimidating — but I personally think it sounds pretty cool.
I signed up on a team that I don’t know a single person on. I only communicate with them via Facebook. A few folks on the team are here in NYC, and I’m meeting them for the first time soon.
omg, that sounds crazy!! I’ve never wanted to do any Ragnars… sleeping little and uncomfortable (eh, sans shower?) doesn’t appeal to me… but who knows where this will go…thanks! Will think about it!